Weeks after federal prosecutors accused a Janesville man of participating in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a grand jury indicted him on six charges Wednesday, court documents show.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on April 6 filed a criminal complaint against Michael Fitzgerald, 42. They shared photos of Fitzgerald, who they say was near the front of the lines that burst into the Capitol against the efforts of police.
The grand jury, according to a motion an assistant U.S. attorney filed Wednesday, indicted Fitzgerald on six charges:
- Civil disorder.
- Obstruction of an official proceeding.
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.
- Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
- Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Nowhere in the complaint that prosecutors filed April 6 does it say that Fitzgerald himself assaulted any officers, but several officers at the Capitol were injured during the riot.
The crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building as elected officials were trying to formalize Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in spite of debunked and court-rejected efforts to cast doubt on the results.
Five people died in connection with the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol.
Fitzgerald is seen entering the Capitol at about 2:47 p.m. local time wearing a shirt that read “wild protest,” according to the complaint.
Two days after the incident, someone who claimed to know Fitzgerald “through employment” reached out to authorities and shared his address and phone number, the complaint states. Agents then met with Fitzgerald in Janesville.
His lawyer said at an earlier hearing that Fitzgerald “has taken responsibility for being there.”
Fitzgerald was previously scheduled for a hearing Thursday, but online court records show that hearing was canceled. Both sides are expected to schedule a status hearing and arraignment with a district judge.
Correction: This article was updated April 30 to reflect news that a medical examiner determined a police officer who died after the riot died of natural causes.